My daughter goes to high school in Italy. The high schools in Italy are divided up by type and she attends the Formation Lyceum. Once known as the Scuola Magistrale, the teacher's high school, in the old system one was prepared to become an elementary school teacher. To become a teacher now requires a college education and so the Scuola Magistrale became obsolete and transformed itself into a Lyceum (as opposed to the professional high schools). It is considered the lowest rung on the Lyceum totem pole and the Linguistic, Artistic, Scientific and Classical Lyceums look down their long hooked noses on this new arrival full of exuberant prenubial girls. She chose this school as it taught psychology and I approved of her decision as it has an extremely varied curriculum which includes music, art, philosophy, physics. To sum it up, it has a rounded program with a heavy dose of humanities.
Although the main focus of the program should be psychology and early childhood development, my daughter has a psychology teacher who won't fail anybody and doesn't seem to require much nor impart much, so I normally don't hear much of what my child is supposedly learning in psychology; until a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, her teacher imparted to the class that people scared of spiders had relationship problems with his/her mother, people scared of heights are attracted to death and people scared of rats have sexual problems.
“It's true,” my daughter claimed. “Almost all the girls in my class are scared of spiders and they all have problems with their mothers.” It wouldn't occur to her that most 15 year old girls do not have idyllic relationships with their mothers.
Be that as it may, for the record, I had a terrible relationship with my mother, but I am not scared of spiders, I am terrified of heights and have a loathsome aversion to sewer rats. I have no problem with little white rats but I don't know if there that makes a difference. Perhaps the type of sexual problems one has can be classified by the type of rat which makes one shiver and scream. Now this bit of information was purely “academic” up until the time when I recounted a dream I had. It involved her father (my ex) who had released many snakes, some of them poisonous, on the living room floor and I requested that he put them in a glass container. (the word I used in my dream was “teca” an Italian word…. A serpentarium???) Of course he didn't, he stuck them in an old wooden piece of furniture and I was transporting them in my car and they were escaping.
“That just proves you have sexual problems!” my 15 year old declared. I tried to do a rapid evaluation of the accusation and the only real problem I believe to have is lack of opportunity. Being a single mother and having a relationship with a man who lives in another city, it isn't easy to see each other more than once a week and there is only so much one (or to be precise) two can accomplish in a 24 hour period, as much as one tries. But not wanting to look like the lady who “doth protest too much”, I asked her, “How should I solve my sexual problems?”
My daughter, wise 15 year old that she is, a prospective future psychologist, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You have to learn to like snakes.”
Freud, I cry for you and I cringe for the future of psychoanalysis.
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